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FRAMEWORKS: Psalms

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Book V

Psalms 107 – 150

 

FRAMEWORKS: Psa 107: Stories of Redemption

 

[Preliminary Comments: A remarkable series of pictures of life on this fallen world, when circumstances get on top of us and, as we cry to the Lord for help, He comes and delivers. Part 1 [v.1-3] simply paints the picture of the purpose of the psalm and then Part 2 [v.4-32] brings the main content in the form of four illustrations of the plight in which we often find ourselves where we realise we are too small and need the Lord's help. Part 3 gives a broad-sweep overview of the works of God [v.33-36] as He provides for mankind so man can rule over the earth [v.36-38]. Nevertheless when pride rises, discipline brings us to our senses again [v.39,40] but even this brings the blessing on mankind again [v.41-43]. The danger of the psalm is that we simply read words and fail to take in the implied warnings of our need of the Lord!]

 

 

PART 1: v.1-3: Introducing the Tales of Redemption

 

v.1  Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good;
     his love endures for ever.

v.2  Let the redeemed of the Lord tell their story –
     those he redeemed from the hand of the foe,
v.3  those he gathered from the lands,
     from east and west, from north and south.

 

PART 2: v.4-32: Four Specific Deliverances

 

v.4-9 The Lost

v.4  [i) Their Plight] Some wandered in desert wastelands,
     finding no way to a city where they could settle.
v.5  They were hungry and thirsty,
     and their lives ebbed away.
v.6 [ii) Their Cry] Then they cried out to the Lord in their trouble,
     and he delivered them from their distress.
v.7  [iii) Their Deliverance] He led them by a straight way
     to a city where they could settle.
v.8 [iv) Call to give thanks] Let them give thanks to the Lord for his unfailing love
     and his wonderful deeds for mankind,
v.9  [v) Causes for thanks] for he satisfies the thirsty
     and fills the hungry with good things.

 

[Additional Comment: The lost wanderers, a picture of lost mankind without God perhaps. It sounds physical or material but v.4,5 could well be the cries of the human heart and their spiritual dryness without God. The turning point comes when we cry to God who sets us on a straight path to the eternal city.]

 

 

v.10-16 The Prisoners

v.10  [i) Their Plight] Some sat in darkness, in utter darkness,
     prisoners suffering in iron chains,
v.11  because they rebelled against God's commands
     and despised the plans of the Most High.
v.12  So he subjected them to bitter labour;
     they stumbled, and there was no one to help.
v.13 [ii) Their Cry]  Then they cried to the Lord in their trouble,
     and he saved them from their distress.
v.14 [iii) Their Deliverance] He brought them out of darkness, the utter darkness,
     and broke away their chains.
v.15 [iv) Call to give thanks] Let them give thanks to the Lord for his unfailing love
     and his wonderful deeds for mankind,
v.16 [v) Causes for thanks] for he breaks down gates of bronze
     and cuts through bars of iron.

 

[Additional Comment: The absence of the presence of God leads to a place of darkness from which we have no resources or means of escape, a life that gets worse and worse. Again the turning point comes when we cry to the Lord.]

 

 

v.17-22 The Foolish

v.17  [i) Their Plight] Some became fools through their rebellious ways and suffered affliction because of their iniquities.
v.18  They loathed all food and drew near the gates of death.
v.19  [ii) Their Cry] Then they cried to the Lord in their trouble,
     and he saved them from their distress.

v.20
[iii) Their Deliverance] He sent out his word and healed them; he rescued them from the grave.
v.21 [iv) Call to give thanks] Let them give thanks to the Lord for his unfailing love and his wonderful deeds for mankind.
v.22 [v) The call extended] Let them sacrifice thank-offerings
     and tell of his works with songs of joy.

 

[Additional Comment: General folly and rebellion against the Lord results in a vulnerable life where affliction comes and the pleasures of life wane. As before, all changes when we cry to the Lord.]

 

 

v.23-32 The Travellers (Merchants)

v.23  Some went out on the sea in ships;
     they were merchants on the mighty waters.
v.24  They saw the works of the Lord,
     his wonderful deeds in the deep.
v.25  [i) Their Plight] For he spoke and stirred up a tempest
     that lifted high the waves.
v.26  They mounted up to the heavens and went down to the depths;
     in their peril their courage melted away.
v.27  They reeled and staggered like drunkards;
     they were at their wits' end.
v.28 [ii) Their Cry] Then they cried out to the Lord in their trouble,
     and he brought them out of their distress.
v.29 [iii)Their Deliverance] He stilled the storm to a whisper;
     the waves of the sea were hushed.
v.30  They were glad when it grew calm,
     and he guided them to their desired haven.
v.31 [iv) Call to give thanks] Let them give thanks to the Lord for his unfailing love
     and his wonderful deeds for mankind.
v.32 [v) The call extended] Let them exalt him in the assembly of the people
     and praise him in the council of the elders.

  

[Additional Comment: Merchants, travellers, business people, all so often seem self-reliant and pride flourishes but when the trials of life come like a storm [see Mt 7:25,27] they are as vulnerable as anyone else. [Cancer, for example, is a leveler] They are no different and so when they come to their senses and cry out, the Lord delivers and redeems.]

 

 

PART 3: v.33-43: The Lord's Transformations & works of Redemption

 

v.33-36a The Lord's Transforming Works

v.33  He turned rivers into a desert,
     flowing springs into thirsty ground,
v.34  and fruitful land into a salt waste,
     because of the wickedness of those who lived there.
v.35  He turned the desert into pools of water
     and the parched ground into flowing springs;
v.36  there he brought the hungry to live,
   

v.36b-43 The Activities of Mankind

  [Their Growth] and they founded a city where they could settle.
v.37  They sowed fields and planted vineyards
     that yielded a fruitful harvest;
v.38  he blessed them, and their numbers greatly increased,
     and he did not let their herds diminish.

 

v.39 [Their Humbling] their numbers decreased, and they were humbled
     by oppression, calamity and sorrow;
v.40  he who pours contempt on nobles
     made them wander in a trackless waste.

v.41 [Their ongoing Redemption] But he lifted the needy out of their affliction
     and increased their families like flocks.
v.42  The upright see and rejoice,
     but all the wicked shut their mouths.

v.43  Let the one who is wise heed these things
     and ponder the loving deeds of the Lord .

 

 

[Additional Comments: The four ‘stories' [v.4-32] remind us of the ways of life on this fallen world where, for a variety of causes, we come to realise our limitations and cry out to God in need. The big lesson is that whoever it is who cries out, He is instantly there to save, deliver, redeem.]

   

     

Continue to Psa 108